by BPCYC Advocacy Committee Members – Elizabeth Duda, Ben Ullman & Steve Yaffe
Aug. 20, 2020 (York County, SC) The SC Department of Transportation (SCDOT) accepted public comments on its Multimodal Transportation Plan. The plan outlines the vision, goals, objectives, performance management, and funding prioritization. The below Bike/Ped Coalition of York County (BPCYC) comment urges the SCDOT to give greater consideration to cyclists, pedestrians, and all non-motorized constituents. We are grateful to the Palmetto Cycling Coalition, which, in coordination with the SC Livable Communities Alliance, outlined 7 areas needing more attention to better serve non-motorized users.
BPCYC Comment to SCDOT
The Bike/Ped Coalition of York County’s Advocacy Committee appreciates SCDOT’s recognition of the value of multimodalism for safe mobility, economic competitiveness, and community vitality. Further, we support SCDOT’s stated goals in forming partnerships, employing a data-driven approach, establishing zero fatalities as the goal, and encouraging all possible funding sources.
The Multimodal Plan indicates that the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Action Plan will “research and note the current state of pedestrian and bicycle safety in the state, increase our understanding of crash patterns, promote objectives and data-informed decision making, promote investment in proven safety countermeasures, and target locations with high needs and opportunities for successful outcomes.” Along with an objective, strategies and success measures related to reduction in injuries and fatalities for pedestrians and cyclists, we suggest that the Multimodal Plan target creating continuous pathways along arterial and collector roads. This would entail two strategies: 1) “road diets” (narrower lanes) to find room for bike/ped lanes on existing rights of way and increasing save driving and 2) acquisition of right of way adjacent to roadways. Without this target, the cycling/pedestrian aspect of the multimodal transportation plan would be an exercise in spot improvements.
We also ask you to heed the Palmetto Cycling Coalition’s comment on areas requiring attention:
- Recognize the limitations of the survey, which does not adequately represent South Carolina demographics.
- Add a performance measure for non-motorized users, under Mobility & System Reliability – consistent with the SCDOT’s legislatively-prescribed duties.
- Add non-motorized planning and project selection processes as an Equity goal.
- Set a target safety performance metric that flattens the curve in the near term, with reduction longer term, since various new Complete Streets policies are imminently arriving at SCDOT.
- Ensure congestion relief measures in tandem with Pedestrian and Bike Master Plans, and increasing transit service. This would reduce some trips and miles traveled, offer cheaper options, improve the environment and people’s physical and mental health, and support equity.
- Multimodal Performance Management can and should be more robust, through better use of data.
- Use 100% (not 50%) of SCDOT’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) money from FHWA for its intended purpose, which would increase SCDOT’s TAP share from $7.4 to $14.8 Million.
Last, “Drive Our Future” does not appropriately represent multimodal transportation.